TODAY'S TOP STORY: Chinese web giant Tencent is ploughing ahead with the IPO of its music division on the New York Stock Exchange after the investment markets responded well to talks between China and the US at last week's G20 meeting in Buenos Aires... [READ MORE]
Available to premium subscribers, CMU Trends digs deeper into the inner workings of the music business, explaining how things work and reviewing all the recent trends.
This five part guide provides an overview of how new artists go about building a fanbase and the basics of label-led album marketing campaigns. Keep track of the sections published so far online and look out for additional chapters going live very soon. [READ MORE]
This three part CMU Trends guide provides a beginner's guide to music copyright and the music rights business. In it, we cover ownership, controls and licensing, and review key trends in streaming, physical, sync and public performance. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Tencent's IPO is go
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Indies accounted for 39.9% of recorded music revenues in 2017, says WIN
LIVE BUSINESS Gig-goers don't like phone filming at shows (but like filming shows on their phones)
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Mixcloud launches channel-based subscriptions
Spotify and Apple Music reveal that Drake was popular in 2018
RELEASES Girl Ray and The Boy Least Likely To team up for sticky Christmas song
Swindle announces new album, No More Normal
ONE LINERS Bucks, Sentric, Record Store Day, more
AND FINALLY... Future of Harry Styles sitcom in doubt
CMU Insights is our training and consultancy business providing training courses, conference sessions and research reports for music companies.
Wednesday 12 Dec 2018, 2.00-5.30pm
This half day masterclass provides a concise and user-friendly overview of all the key developments that have occured in music copyright in the last twelve months. [READ MORE]
Wednesday 16 Jan 2018, 2.00-5.30pm
This half day masterclass provides a comprehensive overview of the streaming business, how digital services are licensed, and the key issues with the current model. [READ MORE]
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060.
The Philharmonia Orchestra is looking to appoint a Digital Marketing Manager. This is a new role, designed to drive ticket sales and audience growth across the Orchestra’s exciting live programme, utilising digital channels.

For more information and to apply click here.
The Philharmonia is looking to develop its online learning profile and offer for young people, students and teachers, building on its significant reputation and existing catalogue in this field. As such, we are recruiting a new role to work across the Digital and Education teams to research, develop and produce content.

For more information and to apply click here.
The role of Events Marketing Manager is a pivotal and crucial role to the success of Dreamland Margate. This is a really exciting opportunity for an event marketer to join a growing business.

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Managing a wide range of acts across Believe's new in-house imprint A4Ward and select Label Services projects, this role is tasked with creating, delivering and co-ordinating marketing and promotional campaigns for domestic and international releases.

For more information and to apply click here.
Believe has an exciting new opportunity for an eager creative to join as the Digital Content Intern to work across the digital marketing and video team. The candidate will be creating assets to support Believe's artist and label campaigns and also its YouTube channel clients.

For more information and to apply click here.
The position of Manager, Digital Accounts at INgrooves is responsible for generating revenue growth at key accounts in the digital music industry outside of the Americas. You will work closely with label representatives, marketing information and various data sources to ensure maximum visibility for our key projects.

For more information and to apply click here.
Since 1993, the French music export office, ​Le Bureau Export​​, has supported French rights holders in exporting their repertoire worldwide. The Berlin branch of Le Bureau Export is looking for a trilingual Communications/PR Manager.

For more information and to apply click here.
Dispersion PR provides publicity and marketing services within the electronic music and events fields and is seeking an experienced, full time Senior Publicist based out of our SW London office.

For more information and to apply click here.
Cooking Vinyl is looking for a Product and Marketing Assistant to join our London office. You will work closely to assist the company’s Product & Marketing Managers as well as the Production Manager to effectively plan releases and implement project roll-out plans, meeting all necessary deadlines.

For more information and to apply click here.
Sentric Music is looking for a Synchronisation Executive to join its Music Services Team. Based in the creative area of the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool, the Synchronisation Executive will be part of our growing Sync Team consisting of fifteen creatives in the UK and US.

For more information and to apply click here.
The successful applicant for the role of VIP Assistant will be an organised, enthusiastic and hard-working individual. Working as an assistant to the VIP Manager within our VIP department you would be responsible for the day to day administration of our exclusive VIP packages, as well as providing general office admin support.

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Ninja Tune is looking for an experienced product manager working across our main imprints Ninja Tune and Counter Records. You will manage record release campaigns from beginning to end working closely with the A&R, production, marketing, digital, social media and international teams.

For more information and to apply click here.

Tencent's IPO is go
Chinese web giant Tencent is ploughing ahead with the IPO of its music division on the New York Stock Exchange after the investment markets responded well to talks between China and the US at last week's G20 meeting in Buenos Aires.

Tencent Music, of course, owns China's market-leading streaming service QQ Music, as well as other digital, distribution and label operations. The main Tencent company confirmed earlier this year that it would spin off its music division as a standalone business, which would then be floated on the stock exchange in New York.

The original plan was to IPO in October, but things were pushed back as the tech sector at large started to see its stock prices dip. Donald Trump's trade war with China, and Tencent's main rival in the Chinese music market - NetEase - raising $600 million in new finance, were also seen as possible factors for why Tencent might delay listing its music company.

Last month there was even talk of the IPO being pushed back into 2019. Though sources told the FT that if it looked like US/China relations were improving on the back of the G20 meeting, Tencent would likely get things going straight away. Which is what the company did after Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed a temporary ceasefire in their ongoing trade war, resulting in a predictable boost in the share prices of Asian businesses.

In a new filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission yesterday, Tencent confirmed it is seeking to raise between $1.07 billion and $1.23 billion through the IPO. Which is pretty much in line with what the company previously indicated, although some had speculated that it might ultimately seek something more like $2 billion.

Tencent previously said that that money will be spent on product expansion, content creation, marketing and possibly a few strategic investments and acquisitions.

A source with knowledge of the IPO told Reuters that shares will likely begin trading on 12 Dec, with the company aiming for a market cap valuation for Tencent Music similar to the current valuation of Spotify, with which - of course - Tencent has a formal alliance. That would be somewhere in the region of $25 billion.

Sources also say that Tencent is keen to push ahead with the IPO in a speedy fashion in no small part because of fears that the easing of political tensions between the US and China might be temporary, so better to go through with the deal now and avoid being impacted by any heightening of the US/China trade war in 2019.


Indies accounted for 39.9% of recorded music revenues in 2017, says WIN
Independent record labels accounted for 39.9% of the global recorded music market in 2017 - up from 39.6% in 2016 - according to new figures from the World Independent Network.

This headline stat is contained in the third edition of the WINTEL report, produced by MIDiA Research and Music Ally. The aim of this report is to analyse performance in the record industry based on who controls the copyright in a recording, rather than who distributes the music to retailers and digital services.

When the stats are crunched based on distribution, the majors get to include the music controlled by any indie labels that they distribute within their market share. But the WINTEL report instead allocates value generated by those recordings to the indie sector.

Demonstrating the impact that has, WINTEL reckons that 22.4% of revenue generated by independently controlled recordings - which equates to $1.5 billion - went through a major label distributor. In this report that is counted as indie label income.

Other top line stats in the report include the brag that, while the record industry at large saw its revenues grow in 2017, indie labels outperformed the wider market. The WINTEL figures reckon that the indies scored year-on-year growth of 11.3%, which is just over 1% higher than the rest of the market. Streaming revenues saw the most significant growth in the indie sector in 2017 - as for the industry at large - rising by 46%.

The report also notes the increasing trend of artists self-releasing their recordings through their own labels and then tapping the services of a distributor or label services company for distribution, marketing and so on. That distributor may also be allied to a major, or it might be an independent distributor or indie label offering artist services of that kind. WINTEL reckons that self-releasing artists generated revenues of $101 million in 2017.

Commenting on all these figures, WIN CEO Alison Wenham actually points in particular to one other stat contained in the report. "There are numerous interesting outcomes from this survey", she says. "But one thing that really stood out for me is the fact that 76% of artists are choosing to renew their contracts with their labels, which shows that the indies are forging great bonds with those they represent".

Then noting that the indies are united with the majors when it comes to securing copyright reform around the world, Wenham goes on: "It has been another turbulent twelve months for our industry on a lot of levels but we have emerged with the prospect of powerful new legislation to protect our businesses, fantastic growth in some unexpected territories and increasing support from music fans who have continued to enjoy and engage with the amazing music coming out of the worldwide independent community".


Gig-goers don't like phone filming at shows (but like filming shows on their phones)
A majority of gig-goers find it annoying when others use their mobile phones to take photos or record footage at a show and would like some action to be taken to minimise such activities. Although just under half say they have used their phone in this way at a live event in the last year, and a third reckon that taking snaps and clips on your phone is now an important part of the live music experience.

This is according to a survey of just over 1000 people who attended live ticketed events in the last year, commissioned by ticketing firm Eventbrite and conducted by ComRes.

Of those surveyed, 70% said it was irritating when others held their phones up in the air to film a gig and 69% agreed that some action should be taken to minimise such conduct. But 49% admitted they had taken photos or videos at an event they'd attended in the last year, and among 18-24 year olds that number rose to 62%. Despite that fact, 81% said they understood why an artist might not appreciate being videoed in this way.

Dr Lee Hadlington, an Associate Professor in Cyberpsychology at De Montfort University, reviewed the stats for Eventbrite and noted there might be a little hypocrisy going on in the way people view using phones to film at events. "You've got a paradox", he said. "People are saying 'it's OK if I use my phone at an event - because I want to get this special photo - but when someone else does it, that's really annoying'".

Also commenting on the stats, Eventbrite's Head Of Marketing, Katie McPhee, added: "Go to any stadium gig and you'll be met with a forest of arms holding up mobiles and blocking lines of sight, so people behind feel irritated. Our report confirms that there is a general agreement between audiences, artists and promoters that using your phone during a live performance can be detrimental to the live experience - both for yourself and for those around you - and that it should be managed".

Various ways in which mobile phone use could be 'managed' at shows were suggested in Eventbrite's report, including the introduction of 'no phone zones', gentle nudges to make phones more discrete or audience spot-checks for over-filming.

Knocking the phone out of the offending gig-goer's hand and then stamping on it was not suggested, though seems like a totally reasonable solution to me. Stamping on the phone I mean. And then maybe the gig-goer's hand.


Mixcloud launches channel-based subscriptions
Mixcloud this morning launched a new service called Mixcloud Select which, it says, is a "pioneering fan-to-creator subscription service that brings listeners closer to the creators they love". Basically users will be able to subscribe to individual channels on the Mixcloud platform, with subscription money split between the channel owner and the labels and publishers who control any music it features.

At launch, 47 Mixcloud channels will be part of the Select scheme, while other mixers, podcasters and programme makers currently publishing on the platform will also be able to apply to take part. The channel owner will set the monthly subscription rate, though there will be a £2.99 minimum. Where a channel features music in its content, Mixcloud will sort out paying the music industry its cut of the money by employing its own audio ID technology.

Launching the new subscription set-up, Mixcloud co-Founder Nico Perez says: "Mixcloud Select is our pioneering move toward building a fair and sustainable ecosystem that works for audio creators, artists and listeners. We want to enable fans to get closer to the culture and communities they care about, while ensuring that everyone involved in the creative process is recognised and rewarded accordingly".

Although in some ways a competitor to SoundCloud - it being an audio-based user-upload platform for creators - Mixcloud always limited uploads to full mixes or radio-style programmes, rather than allowing individual tracks to be posted. This originally meant that Mixcloud could, unlike its competitor, license both the songs and the recordings featured in uploads via the collective licensing system in the UK, working with PRS and PPL.

However, the company has been slowly shifting over to direct deals with the record companies and music publishers, as well as continuing to work with the collecting societies on the songs side where they control the relevant rights. The company says it now has deals in place with all three majors and Merlin on the labels side, and with Warner/Chappell and copyright hub ICE on the songs side.

By linking subscriptions to individual channels - rather than the platform at large - Mixcloud will be hoping that its creators will help sign up subscribers, it providing a way for podcasters and DIY radio programme makers to monetise their content, while also legitimately using any music that they feature in their shows. Listeners who pay a subscription fee get extra functionality and access to extra content.


Spotify and Apple Music reveal that Drake was popular in 2018
Hey, it's nearly the end of the year, so it's time for lists. Spotify and Apple Music have both put their annual stats out, crunching users' listening data for 2018 before it can be horribly skewed by your insistence on listening to Christmas songs for the whole of December.

Would you like to know what this data crunching discovered? Care to have a guess before I tell you? Yes, you are correct, it found that Drake is really popular. He was the most popular artist in both the UK and worldwide on both services, and scored the most played album - 'Scorpion' - and the most played single - 'God's Plan'. Apple also named him Artist of The Year, to avoid any risk of anyone talking about anyone else.

Among its various lists, Spotify also includes a list of the genres you'd have been listening to this year if you were just a little bit cooler. The musical styles that saw the biggest growth globally on the streaming service this year were emo rap, lo-fi beats, deep talent show, ringtone and brega funk. Be sure to look out for those in 2019.

There are more of stats, exciting colours and pictures galore in this infographic from Spotify.


Approved: Galya Bisengalieva
A soloist with the London Contemporary Orchestra, Galya Bisengalieva has worked with Radiohead, Frank Ocean, Actress, Steve Reich, Suzanne Ciani and more. She has now released her debut solo EP, the cunningly titled 'EP One'.

The three-track release sees her perform tracks by herself, Claire M Singer and the previously approved Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch. Combining violin and electronic sounds, although each track is written by a different composer, all three fit together well as a whole.

As an initial offering, it certainly feels like a prelude to something bigger, and will leave you hoping that she takes this project further.

Listen to Bisengalieva's own composition for 'EP One', 'Tulpar', here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Girl Ray and The Boy Least Likely To team up for sticky Christmas song
Girl Ray's Poppy Hankin and Jof Owen of The Boy Least Likely To have recorded a Christmas song together under the name Bubble & Squeak, called 'The Christmas Stick'.

"I'd had the title 'The Christmas Stick' in my head for about five years", says Owen, explaining how the collaboration came about. "No one ever seemed to think it was as funny as I did. Except Poppy".

Spotter of comic potential Hankin adds: "Jof told me about the idea for the song one night in the pub, but all he had so far was the line 'you've been hit, you've been hit, you've been hit by the Christmas stick'. I remember singing an idea for it straight away and then we got together the next morning and wrote the rest of it. It ended up being a really sweet love song, which we didn't expect it to be".

Owen continues: "When I went round to Poppy's to start writing she was making a playlist of songs that she thought were similar in vibe to Dido's 'White Flag'. She [then] told me she'd been practicing dancing like Dua Lipa all morning and got me to compare her dancing to Dua Lipa's on a YouTube video. [It was] pretty much the same way Lennon and McCartney started writing together, I imagine".

Hankin is already a veteran Christmas song writer, having released '(I Wish I Were Giving You A Gift) This Christmas' with Girl Ray last year. You can listen to her latest effort here.


Swindle announces new album, No More Normal
Producer Swindle has announced that he will release a new album, 'No More Normal', in the new year. He's also released its opening track, 'What We Do', featuring Daley, P Money, D Double E and Rider Shafique.

Swindle says of the album's title: "'No More Normal' is the idea of us doing our thing, our way, with no rules or limitations. It is jazz influenced as much as it is grime influenced. It's London influenced as much as it is LA influenced".

That eclecticism is reflected in the collaborators, he adds, saying: "I can work with D Double E and Nubya Garcia ... these records are my imagination brought to life in musical form".

He's right to say that the record is filled with an eclectic array of collaborators. As well as those already mentioned, you'll find Ghetts, Kojey Radical, Andrew Ashong, Eva Lazarus, Kiko Bun and Etta Bond.

Swindle will play a show at Bush Hall in London tonight.


Bucks, Sentric, Record Store Day, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Bucks Music Group has agreed a reciprocal sub-publishing deal with Mushroom Music Publishing, which will see the two companies represent each other's catalogues in their respective home territories of the UK and Australia/New Zealand. "Bucks are a real music company", insists Mushroom Music MD Ian James.

• Sentric Music in Liverpool and Riptide Music Group in LA have formed a strategic partnership to share staff and resources either side of the Atlantic. "As a unified independent publishing force, Sentric and Riptide will be able to open more doors, uncover more opportunities and generate more business for our partners than ever before", says Sentric CEO Chris Meehan.

• Oana Ruxandra has returned to Warner Music, after two years at Universal, in the newly created role of EVP New Business Channels - Chief Acquisition Officer. "WMG is on a mission to provide a broad, open, and inclusive environment where independent thinkers and leading-edge companies can realise their visions, well beyond the scope of a traditional music company", she says of her new position.

• Record Store Day will be back again on 13 Apr next year. The annual shopping celebration will also see the return of the RSD and Sound Performance unsigned band competition. The winning act will get 500 copies of a single pressed onto vinyl and a one year distribution deal with Proper Music to try to get rid of them.

• Vök have announced that they will release their second album, 'In The Dark', on 1 Mar. From it, this is new single 'Spend The Love'.

• Hockeysmith has announced that she will release a new EP, 'Tears At My Age', on 25 Jan. Here's the title track.

• Sofie Winterson has released the video for 'Time' from her new album 'Sophia Electric'.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


Future of Harry Styles sitcom in doubt
The key to writing a good sitcom is to get the situation right before you start on the jokes. If people don't buy into the situation, then the show is dead before the first gag. On an unrelated note, it looks like a comedy series loosely based on Harry Styles' life might have been cancelled after just one series.

First unveiled earlier this year, 'Happy Together' is loosely based on a period early in Styles' career post-'X Factor' when he moved in with TV producer Ben Winston and his wife. He only planned to stay with the couple for a few weeks, but he ended up being there closer to two years. "This would make a great sitcom", they said of having a pop star lodger. A thing people regularly say incorrectly about their lives, although most people aren't TV producers.

'Happy Together' began airing on US TV in October. But, according to The Sun, it has not been renewed for a second series, although no official statement has yet been made by broadcaster CBS.

A source told the newspaper: "CBS held a major announcement event last week and 'Happy Together' wasn't included in the line-up for early next year - which was a real shock. They've confirmed that as yet they haven't commissioned any new episodes beyond the initial thirteen part first run. It's all looking very up in the air".

The show stars Damon Wayans Jr and Amber Stevens as the married couple, with Felix Mallard playing the popstar who comes to live with them. Styles himself is credited as an Executive Producer, and the show was apparently heavily promoted in the States. However, reviews were far from glowing and ratings do not appear to have met expectations. The debut episode scored just under six million viewers, with audiences dropping to nearly four million by the middle of the series - although it has seen some increase since then. The ninth episode aired last night.

It is reportedly hoped that the show could still return again in 2019 in the same autumn slot it occupied this year, with a final decision on its future expected by May.

Now I come to think of it, 'strange house guest disrupts an otherwise ordinary and stable life' is a pretty well-established situation for comedy. And it has worked before. The other pitfall for a comedy series, I suppose, is if the jokes are all fucking dreadful. On an unrelated note, here's the trailer for 'Happy Together'.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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